Title: 30 Days of Night
Dir.: David Slade
Producer(s): Sam Raimi, Robert Talpert
Writer(s): Based on horror comics by Steve Niles, Ben Templesmith
Company: Columbia Pictures, Dark Horse, Ghost House Pictures and Sony Pictures Releasing
Starring: Josh Hartnett, Melissa George, Danny Huston, Ben Foster and Mark Boone Junior
It’s a popular genre in the horror field, especially on this blog.
I mean, I just discussed Interview with the Vampire and now we’re going into the opposite direction of brutal, grotesque, not very nice vampires in the world created by Steve Niles and Ben Templesmith.
2007 is the released year of 30 Days of Night, which is a horror comic (graphic novel) depicting a small town in Alaska being in darkness for 30 days but with that comes vampires entering the town.
The premise is great and different and the depiction of vampires is something we haven’t seen before prior. I will say the closest “type” of vampire would be from the film Near Dark. Ironically, we’ll talk about Near Dark soon, but it is a western vampire film and our antagonists are very much bloodthirsty, violent, they don’t give any shits about anything or anyone except their kind.
Visually speaking, there are some really cool shots and imagery throughout 30 Days. Yes, the atmosphere contributes to that but of course, the filmmaking process and the cinematography helps.
Some of my favorite scenes do take place at night and does involve the vampires who… look “off” and it’s the kind of “off” that makes it disturbing. Minus Danny Huston, who plays the lead vampire who looks more human than the others, it’s the others that make it creepy. Their eyes are raised higher, their cheekbones are higher, it’s like if the human face was stretched upwards and permanently stuck there.
I enjoy the cooler tones in the film. We talk a lot about warm and cool tones and I think I’ve discussed the differences between those and also what tint, tone and shade are but it’s Alaska, it’s cold, and even at night, there isn’t a hint of warmth or warmer tones. Yes, there’s fire but even in the fire scenes, it’s like the film is doused in a cooler filter on top. I keep thinking of that other vampire film, Twilight, where it does a good job of creating that “cold town”. Or if you want other ideas, think of The Ring, The Thing, Evil Dead 2, Silent Hill, these films where the atmosphere doesn’t create a warmth or warm vibe right off the bat. It doesn’t make you feel safe because we do associate warmth with comfort, safety and cool is more… unsure, perhaps dangerous.
As great as the movie is with the visuals and the plotline, it can come across as a bit slow at times but maybe I’m mistaking the slow for perhaps “tension” or “slow building tension”.
The action is great, even some human emotional ties, especially surrounding our main protagonist (Hartnett) and what he eventually has to do. So there are some good things about the film. I have not seen the sequel to this and it will take me a very long time to see it but I am throwing that little nugget out there if you were wondering if there’s a sequel or a simple one off.
It ain’t the latter.